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Aerosol Particle Transmission 'Undetectable' In Cruise Ship Ventilation Systems, Study Finds
Oasis of the Seas NCL

Aerosol Particle Transmission 'Undetectable' In Cruise Ship Ventilation Systems, Study Finds

Aerosol Particle Transmission 'Undetectable' In Cruise Ship Ventilation Systems, Study Finds
Oasis of the Seas NCL

February 26, 2021

Adam Coulter
UK Managing Editor
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(12:15 p.m. EST) -- A study of cruise ship ventilation systems has found the transmission of aerosol particles between spaces to be undetectable on surfaces and in the air. The study was initiated by Royal Caribbean Group, working in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the National Strategic Research Institute. The line's Healthy Sail Panel was seeking research on the efficacy of HVAC systems on ships in order to assess and improve ventilation to combat COVID-19 spread.A team of five medical scientists specializing in bioaerosols conducted the research in July 2020 on Oasis of the Seas. The study specifically explored the effectiveness and efficiency of ship air management strategies -- ventilation, filtration and supply -- and examined air flow across different areas of the ship, including passenger cabins, crew cabins, lounges and other public spaces. The conclusion by researchers was that the transmission of aerosol particles between spaces -- through the ventilation system -- to be undetectable on surfaces and in the air. Still, the study is prompting some new practices for RCG. Based on the findings of the UNMC study and at the recommendation of the Healthy Sail Panel, the cruise company will incorporate additional layers of protection that further minimize the possibility of spread. Shipboard settings will be adjusted to allow for the maximum air changes per hour and upgraded to MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) 13 filters throughout the system. In addition, RCG has already equipped its medical facilities with an independent ventilation system and has added HEPA filters for additional precaution. Ventilation systems are just one plank of 74 recommendations from the Healthy Sail Panel, which was set up by RCG and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in a bid to comply with the CDC's numerous demands on cruise lines before they are allowed to return to service.An overview of the study, as well as full details on how the onboard HVAC system works, can be found

here

. The findings of the UNMC study can be found at

Aerosol Study Findings

.

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